What South Africans need to know about Thailand ahead of its November 1 reopening
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Thailand has forever been a bucket list journey for South Africans. Besides its storied history, tantalising cuisine, world-class beaches and spas, Thailand is among the most affordable destinations for travellers, offering plenty of value for money.
The country reopens to fully vaccinated South Africans from Monday, November 1, a year and a half after closing borders due to the pandemic. South Africans can travel to 17 attractions within the country, dubbed Blue Zone Destinations.
These include Bangkok, Krabi, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Trat, Buri Ram, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang-Nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Ranong, Rayong, Loei, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani, Nong Khai, and Udon Thani.
South Africans require a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at least 72 hours before the flight to Thailand. The destination is only accepting fully vaccinated travellers.
In addition, they need to apply for a Thailand Pass at least seven days before departure. To apply, travellers will require proof of vaccine, travel insurance cover for no less than $50 000 (R748 530), booking details for arrival PCR test and confirmation for seven-night accommodation.
There are flights from South Africa to Thailand with Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Qatar. Estimated costs for an economy class ticket start from R7 000.
Chiravadee Khunsub, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said travellers need to undergo a PCR test on arrival and will wait at the hotel until their results are available.
“Results are provided within a few hours. If the test is negative, travellers are free to enjoy their arrival destination for seven days. However, travellers will need to take the antigen test on day 6 or 7 and obtain a release form from the hotel to explore the rest of Thailand from day 8 of their trip,” Khunsub said.